All posts tagged: Asian American

Good Communities Come From Data Disaggregation

Even though we’ve come a long way, as Southeast Asian American refugee communities getting ready for our 45th year in the US, there are still many hurdles for us. Recently, the Chinese have been actively mobilizing to undermine the strides we’ve made by making national efforts to eliminate the collection of statistics and data so necessary to understand which policies have been effective in narrowing the educational achievement gap, and which have not. It should be obvious just saying it aloud: Good communities come from good data. In an era when everyone is concerned about the abuse of our social safety nets and education systems, as well as fake news, we should all be committed to gathering the most accurate information about our success and challenges. We should be more than willing to invest in the collection of data that ensures we’re seeing the real picture of how some communities succeed and others do not. Lao Minnesotans are among the many who have a direct stake in this issue. The phrase most commonly associated with …

Culture vs Converse: Shoo to All Shoes or are your Jimmy Choo’s Exempt?

Entering a house with bare feet is second nature to us Lao. We wouldn’t dare walk through someone’s abode with our street shoes on. But there are many Americans who disagree. In fact, it can be a controversial topic! Removing your shoes might ruin a carefully curated outfit, make you cold, or worse, expose your mismatched socks and smelly feet. And who can forget that Sex and the City episode where Carrie took off her Manolos and someone else went home with them?! Have you ever wondered why we take off our shoes? Or do you need some fuel for the “shoes off” side of the debate? Follow along. Removing shoes is a common practice in many parts of the world. You’ll find footwear by the front entry in Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea. And this isn’t just common in the East. Some people in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, and Turkey cringe at just the thought of hanging out inside with your shoes on. Here in Canada, most of us leave our shoes at the door, …